Thirty-seven local high school seniors were recognized tonight at the annual Paramount Agricultural Companies College Bound Scholarship Awards dinner, which honors outstanding academic achievement.

Stewart and Lynda Resnick, owners of the Paramount Agricultural Companies, were in attendance to pay tribute to the College Bound scholarship award recipients, who will receive a total of $72,750 in scholarship funds.

Since 1994, Paramount's College Bound Scholarship program has recognized academic achievements of the children of employees, and has awarded more than $2 million in scholarship dollars to nearly 390 students throughout the region.

"We have been pleased to watch how these scholarships have opened doors for students from the community," said Lynda Resnick, who with her husband, Stewart, has spearheaded a number of education-based initiatives in the Central Valley. "Helping students attend college is an investment that pays dividends in so many ways."

Resnick added that the scholarships are an investment in the young people of the Central Valley, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college. The average scholarship amount is $3000 per year for a student attending a four year university and $1250 per year for attending a community college.

"Paramount is committed to increasing the number of local students who graduate from high school prepared to succeed and complete college," she said. Since the program began, the dollar amount per scholarship has increased by 30% to offset rising college costs.

Tonight's awards ceremony provided Paramount Farms the opportunity to celebrate the scholarship recipients and their families at an event that recognizes one of Paramount's signature education programs. The College Bound Scholarships program awards scholarships to high school seniors based on GPA and choice of college.

The 2011 College Bound Scholarship recipients are: Alan Ortega (Avenal), Alan Velez (Wasco Union), Alberto Rivera (Independence), Alejandro Jasso (Wasco Union), Ana Calderon (Wasco Union), Audra Shipley (Golden West), Benjamin Persinger (Independence), Christobal Rocha (Wasco Union), Christopher Villarreal (Coalinga), Cindy Andrade (Moorpark), Cinthia Lara (Rio Mesa), Eduardo Carmona (Avenal), Elden Ramos (Delano), Evelyn Garcia (Taft Union), Gloria Jasso (Wasco Union), Guillermo Jimenez (Golden West), Hayleigh Cutshall (Independence), Irbyn Borja (Delano), Ismael Garcia (Avenal), Jacinto Lopez Castillo (Avenal), Janet Manuel (Delano), Jeremy Core (North), Juan Lopez Martinez (Orosi), Kassandra Barba (Wasco Union), Kathryn Perez (Sanger), Laurie Calderon (Shafter), Leonardo Comparan (Wasco Union), Luis Gonzalez (Woodlake Union), Mariana Espitia (Hueneme), Mariela Gamboa (Cesar E. Chavez), Marilynn Cuevas (Avenal), Nicole Hutcheson (Lemoore), Sarah Baker (Bakersfield), Stephanie Saldivar (Wasco Union), Teresa Rafanan (Cesar E. Chavez),Veronica Alvarado (Avenal) and Leticia Mandujano (Cesar E. Chavez).

-- Paramount Paramount Agricultural Companies, News Release